back home.

It's no surprise that so much has happened in the last 3 months. We packed up our little lives in Utah, said some sad goodbyes and moved to Whidbey Island, Washington. Yes, this is the very place I grew up, folks. It gets better - I live in the very house I grew up in {my parents live two hours away but kept the island home} and work part-time at the very elementary school I attended 14 years ago. Weird, right? That's what I thought. But -great, right? That's what I think! It has honestly been wonderful. The 'wonderfulness' came with some 'craziness'. I didn't realize how difficult it would be leaving dear friends and a place I called home. Moving to another state, with a curious {translation: a need to get into everything} little boy has been interesting. I think this picture sums it up...
Boxes, toys, and an unsnapped onesie. Love it.

Bennett is finally adjusting and seems to like it here.

His favorite place to play is his room.

With all of his toys.

The ball bin is his favorite.

He love love love love love love love loves his "dars" {cars} and "tuts" {trucks} and naturally has one in his hand about 80% of the time.

The other day I caught him loading his farm animals into the car and driving them around the house. He is such a crack up.
I am seriously obsessed with him.

He also loves to help mom cook.

He thinks its great to be close to his grandparents and cousins,
of course. ;)

Oh, and don't forget the Friday night football games. He can't get enough of it.

One of his favorite things to do is go to the "pak" {park}.
The castle park. The one mom used to go to.

He has grown so much. I am loving everyday with him. He has become such a good listener - all you have to do is calmly explain why he isn't supposed to be doing something and he will listen. Seriously! For awhile he was a wild child, but after a month of saying "NO!" every two seconds we realized WE were the ones that needed to do some adjusting... and it worked! He has turned into an angel child. Lucky? I think yes.

Although we truly miss our friends and family back in Utah, we are starting to feel at home here.
{and no, that's not our dog - it's Bennett's Aunt "Braee" a.k.a. Brandie}


oreos and milk mixed with pediasure.

Where to begin? Not sure.

Well, how about that our little man is on one of the most desirable diets in the universe. Ice cream, Oreos, donuts, butter, lard, {dot, dot, dot}. No, really. He is. Bennett has struggled gaining weight due to some gastrointestinal issues. For a 4 month period he had CDiff, he struggled to sleep (I mean really struggled - inconsolable screaming for upwards of an hour about 12 times a night), pooped 6-12 times a day and was up against some bad, bad gas!!! He's always been an excellent eater and we have always worked hard to give him a healthy, balanced diet. So, you can imagine my surprise when the doctor said. "Let's try a high fat diet and let's put him on an appetite stimulant. What kind of high fat foods does he like?" I replied, "avocados, meat, peanut butter; you know, the healthy ones / ONLY ones I give him." He asked, "Does he like ice cream? Oreos?" My response: "Well, ya! He loves them!" His response: "Then give them to him three times a day." We left and went directly to the store to gather some super junky, super fatty foods for our baby. Odd. Yes, odd. But, 6 days later the scales finally read a different number... He gained a pound and a half!!! Amazing, right? Who would have thought searching every shelf at Smith's for the highest fat content item would pay off so quickly. Yay for Bennett and yay for donuts. We called to tell our parents the great news and after my dad shared our excitement he seemed a bit hesitant and asked "So, when do you turn it off?" Good question. The good news is that Bennett honestly prefers avocados and blueberries {"bibis"}.

Bennett's gassy sleep issues came to an abrupt end about a month ago. Over night, they stopped. Weirdest/best thing that has ever happened to us. Miraculous. The doctor told us, "I''m not sure what he had but it is the worst case of it I'd ever seen." We're not sure what it was either, but we are so thrilled he's grown out of it. So he now loves to sleep in his own crib, so much so that he won't go to sleep anywhere else! Funny how that works, huh? The other night after our bedtime routine, Bennett immediately climbed off my lap. I was fully prepared to jump up and chase him since I was sure he was just trying to run away from bedtime. Instead, he walked over to his crib and said "up peez." I honestly cried. My baby is growing up. My baby finally sleeps. My baby talks in twos.

Bennett is the funniest person I know. In the last month his personality has come to life - full force! He is talking like crazy and is on the go - literally. He started walking and hasn't stopped since. He is more than just reckless. He is out. of. control! It's like he is in his own little world made of balls, sticks, rocks and "dars" {cars}. He has absolutely no time to think about the wall he might run into or the pavement he might stumble on. His face has been bruised, bloodied and scraped more than once - and he doesn't seem to mind one bit. He has a mind of his own and is more determined and curious than ever. I love him. And for this very reason, this crazy kid of mine may never play sports - because his mother just may not be able to watch!

Speaking of sports, Bennett LOVES "base" {baseball}. Bennett won't sit for longer than 45 seconds to watch a Disney movie --- not for the life of him! But don't you worry, he'll sit still and watch 5 innings of baseball! He is his Daddy's baby! I can't even watch one inning without needing a substantial break. On top of that, his favorite book in the whole wide world is titled, "Touch'n'Feel Baseball." He brings it to us 15 times a day and says either "bo" {book} or "base"? And don't forget about Daddy's baseball games... Bennett loves to point out the "ba" and steal Daddy's hat! Brandon is in heaven, folks.

This summer we've had fun swimming, visiting the zoo, playing with friends and family, visiting Washington, getting crazy in Vegas {you know us} and much much more. I wish I had time to post the details. One day...

This year has been full of surprises - some good and some not so good. In the end and through it all we find ourselves lucky to have each other and to have such wonderful family and friends.



Hard to believe you're one. My little Benetron is one!
You have been a true joy. I love how you smile, how you cry {really it is the cutest puppy dog cry you've ever seen} and how you inspire me to be better every day. You are patient, kind and oh so wonderful.
You love "chichi" {chicken}, "ju" {juice} and "teets" {treats}. You always insists for "ma" {more}. You are so observant and always point out "di" {this} and "dat" {that}. You are intrigued by "sus" {shoes}, "hat" {hats} and "tis" (toys}. You can't go a day without a "da" {bath} or a "tes" {kiss}. You are always proud to show me your "tu" {tongue} and point to my nose when asked. You like "do" {dogs} but you love love love "du" {ducks} and think every flying object should be called one. You love to brush your five "ti" {teeth} and you may or may not throw a whopping fit if you don't get to when mommy does. You love "ba's" {balls} and "bu's" {balloons}. You are nearly obsessed with "tis" {trees} - I can't figure out why, but if you see a tree or any kind of shrubbery for that matter, you must touch it. You love to wave "hi" and goodbye and sometimes you seem shy. You have become a "dad" {daddies} boy but you still have a thing for your "mom" {thank goodness}. You have a mind of your own and you are very determined and strong. You know the doctor's office well but your strength amazes me - You're my little trooper. I are blessed to have you. Every last bit.

Loves and "tesses",


a little more...

Since I can remember, I wanted to go to graduate school. Well, after 2 long years - a baby - a baby who couldn't sleep - and a wonderfully supportive husband, I FINALLY did it! It was honestly the hardest thing I have ever done, but now I look back and feel I learned a little more than just Speech Language Pathology... I also learned a little more about myself. I somehow can appreciate the small things, like sleep and a peaceful night without a thing to do. Like spending an entire day singing the ABC's and reading to a curious little boy. Like holding the most perfect little gift in your arms, all night long. Like being a parent with an amazing companion. Like watching a tooth peak through mini gums or the leaves sprout on a nearby tree. These are things I didn't appreciate before. I now know what it feels like to help, or in some minute way, make a difference. I know what it feels like to be sitting in a surgery waiting room, wishing I could change places with my child so he would be free of pain and fear. I know what it's like to be held by big arms and by little ones. I now realize how blessed I am to have a husband who believes in me, even when I don't. I realize how lucky I am to have friends and family who would drop so much to help. I have a better understanding of hard times and a deeper gratitude for the good that comes from them. I now know what it feels like to lose a loved grandfather and to reflect on a life. I know what it's like to watch a baby grow. I know how it feels to be called "mom". I learned more about patience. I learned about my personal limits and abilities. I learned to rely more on God and that prayer really does change things. I learned there is nothing more important or more beautiful than the people I come home to.
This journey has been life changing and I'm grateful to realize there is more than an M.S. after my name.
Thanks to all for your love and support. I couldn't have done it without you.

{more pictures to come}


long overdue.

Here is a mini update of our lives.
(February - April)

We got to go skiing for the first time in years! So fun.

Bennett and I spent Valentines Day together, since Dad got to go to the Vancouver Olympics. We had a blast dipping strawberries,
reading sappy love stories,

and dressing up for church.
Then we joined some friends for the afternoon.

Then had a nice snooze.

It was a wonderful Valentines day, but surely was not the same without Brandon.

Bennett no longer reaches or backs into things -

He's an excellent crawler, and has been for awhile now...

The bumps and bruises followed the crawling.
{This day in his crib shows the worst of it - Bruises from the week were all over his head! He was out of control.}

Thankfully, he mastered the whole crawling and standing thing - and falls much less.

Bennett takes full advantage of his mobility.

He loves being outside...

...and wearing big ties.

Bennett became Brandon's "true" son the day he went to his first Basketball game - and loved it.

{Just kidding}

And, for my Birthday, Brandon sent me to Virginia to see one of my bestest friends - Rachel and her beautiful daughter Dakota. The trip was amazing. Just what we needed.

{I will post more pictures of the trip later}

Bennett has/had Obstructive Sleep Apnea (yep: He wakes up 6-12 times a night)... So he had an adenoidectomy. The whole surgery thing was unbelievably scary, but all went well. We should be seeing the true results shortly. Cross your fingers for us and our little trooper.

Then, came the good stuff - Easter.

And now, we are loving the weather and Dad's Baseball games.

So much more has happened but sadly there isn't enough time to share it all! We have been lucky to see so many dear friends and family this year and hope to post the details soon. As for now, we are looking forward to graduation. We can't believe the craziness is coming to an end. We feel so blessed and grateful for our experiences.